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Stories of hope

Don Salamone of Fountain Hills, AZ

Don Salomone

I would like to share my story for all of you out there who think life is over when you have been told you need a heart transplant or any transplant for that matter.

I have been a hardcore competitive runner all my life and have taken excellent care of myself my whole life. Life threw me a curveball about 5 years ago when a virus got to my heart and slowly over the years weakened my heart to the point of needing and getting a heart transplant on Oct. 2nd, 2012.

I was called in from home for my new heart and 8 days later I walked out of the hospital and haven’t looked back. My recovery went very well and I starting back running (slowly) about 2 months post transplant. I ran my first road race 5 months to the day of my heart transplant. I finished 2nd in my age group and about 7:30 a mile pace. Not bad for a guy that is closer to 60 than 50. Since then I have run numerous 5k’s, a 10k and a 1/2 marathon (13.1). I haven’t heard of any heart transplant recipient running any faster than I have. Check out a video of me on YouTube called “Heart of a Runner”.

My advice to all is to stay strong, resilient and positive and things will work out for the best. A transplant does not mean the end of life but rather the beginning chapter of a new journey. Have faith and God bless everyone that helped me to fight the battle and especially my lovely and caring wife.

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